And When Did You Last See Your Father?
- This article is about a film. For the painting with the same title by William Frederick Yeames, see And When Did You Last See Your Father? (picture)
|And When Did You Last See Your Father?|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Anand Tucker|
|Produced by||Elizabeth Karlsen
|Written by||David Nicholls
Based on the memoir by Blake Morrison
|Music by||Barrington Pheloung|
|Edited by||Trevor Waite|
UK Film Council
Bórd Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board
European Development Fund
|Distributed by||Buena Vista International (UK)
Sony Pictures Classics (US)
|Release date(s)||5 October 2007 (UK)|
|Running time||92 minutes|
|Box office||$2,710,161 (Worldwide)|
The film is a series of flashbacks to various periods in the life of Blake Morrison as he remembers moments he shared with his father Arthur while he, his mother, and younger sister Gillian tend to him on his deathbed in his Yorkshire home. Despite Blake's success as a writer, poet, and critic, his father - a rural general practitioner - never accepted his decision to pursue a literary career nor was he willing to acknowledge his achievements in his field. Bullying, blustery, and boorish, Arthur blunders his way through fatherhood, regularly calling his son a fathead and intruding into the boy's private moments with a sense of entitlement. He has a penchant for exaggeration when he's not telling outright lies, and he publicly humiliates his long-suffering but passively complacent wife Kim with his shameless flirting with various women and an affair with Beaty, a friend of the family. At other times, he seems genuinely interested in bonding with his son, taking him camping so they can test supposedly waterproof sleeping bags he has made or allowing him to drive in the family's Alvis convertible on a wide expanse of deserted beach with reckless abandon. As a result, Blake is left with mixed feelings for the man, ranging from deeply rooted anger to compassionate acceptance. Only after Arthur's death is he able to set aside his resentment and recognize him as a father whose flaws ultimately helped mould his son into the better man he is.
The film was shot on location in Brighton in East Sussex; Chichester, Goodwood, Petworth, and West Wittering in West Sussex; Bakewell, Cromford, Kedleston, and Snake Pass in Derbyshire; the National Liberal Club in Westminster, London; Sheffield in South Yorkshire; Flintham in Nottinghamshire; and Yorkshire Dales in North Yorkshire. Interiors were filmed at the Twickenham Film Studios in Middlesex.
The film premiered at the Galway Film Festival in July 2007 and was shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival, the Telluride Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, the Edmonton International Film Festival, and the Dinard Festival of British Cinema before going into theatrical release in the UK, Ireland, and Malta on 5 October 2007. It then was shown at the Rome Film Festival, the Cairo International Film Festival, the Dubai International Film Festival, the Miami International Film Festival, and the Ashland Independent Film Festival before going into limited release in the US on 6 June 2008.
- Jim Broadbent ..... Arthur Morrison
- Colin Firth ..... Blake Morrison
- Juliet Stevenson ..... Kim Morrison
- Gina McKee ..... Kathy Morrison
- Claire Skinner ..... Gillian
- Sarah Lancashire ..... Beaty
- Matthew Beard ..... Blake as a teenager
- Elaine Cassidy ..... Sandra
- Justin McDonald ..... Steve
- Carey Mulligan ..... Rachel
- Bradley Johnson ..... Blake as a child
- Rhiannon Howden ..... Sophie Morrison
The film received generally favorable reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reported 78% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 32 reviews, while Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 70 out of 100, based on 8 reviews.
Manohla Dargis of the New York Times called the film "A gentle tale gently told" and "grown-up, civilized fare" and added, "If that sounds like a compliment, it is, even though the whole thing might have been improved with a bit of messiness, a little vulgarity to leaven its tastefulness and tact. This isn’t a groundbreaking work; just a smartly played story, enlivened by drama and spiked with passion, the very thing that thinking audiences pine for, especially during the summer spectacle season when theaters are clogged with sticky kids’ stuff and television reruns."
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times observed, "It's a sad movie, with a mournful score, romantic landscape photography and heartbreaking deathbed scenes . . . But it's not very satisfying . . . The film did not provide me with fulfillment or a catharsis . . . This is a film of regret, and judging by what we see of the characters, it deserves to be."
Walter Addiego of the San Francisco Chronicle said, "This classy tearjerker is worth seeing more for its virtuoso acting than for its bare-bones tale of how a sensitive man copes with the death of his domineering father. The film is cleanly and intelligently made, and, excepting a few moments toward the end, it's moving without being mawkish. While you might leave the theater feeling the picture finally doesn't quite have the dramatic heft it should, it offers plenty of compensations along the way."
Derek Elley of Variety called the film "immaculately acted, professionally helmed and saturated in period British atmosphere," "an unashamed tearjerker that’s all wrapping and no center," and "undeniably effective at a gut level despite its dramatic shortcomings." He added, "[B]y never getting to the heart of the matter, nor having even one scene where father and son really talk, the movie has a big black hole at its core. In the smorgasbord of father-son relationship pics, this one is very low-cal."
Awards and nominations
The film was nominated for seven British Independent Film Awards, including Best British Independent Film, Best Actor (Jim Broadbent), Best Supporting Actor (Colin Firth), Most Promising Newcomer (Matthew Beard), Best Director, and Best Screenplay.
Elaine Cassidy was nominated for the Irish Film & Television Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Film Role but lost to Saoirse Ronan in Atonement.
The Region 1 DVD was released on 4 November 2008. The film is in anamorphic widescreen format with an audio track in English and subtitles in French and Spanish. Bonus features include commentary by director Anand Tucker, deleted scenes, and the original trailer.
- Official website
- And When Did You Last See Your Father? at the Internet Movie Database
- And When Did You Last See Your Father? at AllMovie